Harrington misses big Ryder Cup opportunity


Padraig Harrington was two shots off the 36-hole lead at the Irish Open, but shot 72-70 over the weekend to finish T-7. As a result, Harrington made only a slight move in the European Ryder Cup standing and is still hanging on the outside looking in. (Click for U.S. Ryder Cup standings)

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will pull 10 automatic qualifiers from two separate points lists. The top 5 players on the European Points List after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will make the team.

Top 5 after the Irish Open (points in parentheses):

1. Rory McIlroy (2,620,352)

2. Paul Lawrie (2,000,935)

3. Justin Rose (1,991,414)

4. Graeme McDowell (1,912,488)

5. Martin Kaymer (1,779,612)

The next five players will be the highest five on the World Points List not already on the team. Rafa Cabrera-Bello knocked Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano out of the final qualifying spot this week. Currently, that handful of players would consist of the following in order of their position on the list (points in parentheses):

2. Luke Donald (324.26)

3. Lee Westwood (276.22)

7. Peter Hanson (168.46)

9. Sergio Garcia (155.58)

10. Rafa Cabrera-Bello (134.42)

Olazabal will finalize his team by making two picks. Here are some players not currently inside the top five of either points list who deserve consideration:

Nicolas Colsaerts: The Match Play champion missed the cut at Royal Portrush thanks to a second-round 78.

Ian Poulter: A Ryder Cup rock, he hasn't made much noise recently. May have to rely on reputation more so than form to make the team.

Harrington: See above.